The first member of Donald Trump’s “inner circle” to be charged in the Russian interference investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, has been sentenced. George Papadopoulos, who served as Trump’s foreign policy adviser, was sentenced to 14-days in jail to be followed by one year of supervised release. Papadopoulos was also hit with a $9500 fine. The special counsel originally called for a sentence of between 0-6 months after Papadopoulos’ cooperation with the investigation. Papadopoulos pleaded with the sentencing judge before his sentence was handed down.
“I made a terrible mistake. I hope to have a second chance to redeem myself.” Papadopoulos told the judge before being sentenced.
NBC News(@NBCNews) reports, prosecutors said Papadopoulos was solicited by a professor with ties to Russian Intelligence named Joseph Mifsud. Mifsud reportedly told Papadopoulos that the Russians possessed incriminating information about Hilary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails”. This was before it was public knowledge that Russia had stolen Democratic emails. Papadopoulos lied to the FBI about the timing of his interactions with the professor. He told the FBI it happened before he began working for Trump, when it had actually happened well afterward.
Prosecutors say Misfud arranged a meeting between Papadopoulos and a woman who was falsely introduced to Papadopoulos as Vladimir Putin’s niece.
Pictured: Joseph Misfud
After a night of heavy drinking, Papadopoulos bragged to an Australian diplomat about the stolen emails, Russians, and how the fix was in for Trump to win, as the two drank together at an upscale bar in London in 2016. The Australian Diplomat was so alarmed by Papadopoulos’ claims that he reported the conversation to his American counterparts. The Australian Diplomats’ concern came from evidence that they had seen Russia do the exact same thing in elections in multiple other countries around the world. That was the beginning of the counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election….and ultimately, Donald Trump and his camp’s role in the whole thing.
Trump, who has called the entire investigation a “hoax” and a “witch-hunt”, chimed in via Twitter after Papadopoulos’s sentencing.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced indictments against 12 Russian Intelligence officers on Friday afternoon. The revelation that those charged in the indictment were Russian intelligence officers suggest that the group’s orders came directly from the top. The indictments come days before Trump is scheduled to meet with Russia President Vladimir Putin.
ABC News (@ABC) reports, the 12 Russian Intelligence Officers, all members of the Russian government’s official intelligence agency, GRU, are suspected of carrying on a sustained campaign to hack the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Hilary Clinton’s campaign.
The GRU allegedly began a “spearphishing” campaign in 2016 against volunteers and employees of the Hilary Clinton campaign. The spearphishing campaign by the GRU allowed them access to the DNC servers and networks, which they used to steal emails, documents, and also covertly monitor the activity on the compromised computers and employees. The spearphishing campaign also allowed GRU to implant malicious files and steal passwords and maintain access to the networks.
Some of the stolen emails were then made public by GRU posing as online personas “Gucifer 2.0” and “DCLeaks.” GRU also passed the stolen emails along to an unnamed third party online source in an effort to undermine the Clinton campaign. A source close to the Trump campaign is alleged to have been in direct contact with the third party and Gucifer 2.0.
In the press conference, Rosenstein stated that no Americans have been named in this indictment against the Russian Intelligence officers. The Special Counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election is still ongoing.
The hits just keep coming for Team Trump. In the latest news, the Democratic National Committee is suing the Trump campaign, Russia, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and several associates of Donald Trumps’ alleging a grand racketeering, hacking and fraudulent conspiracy that harmed Democrats through WikiLeaks’ publication of internal party emails during the 2016 presidential campaign.
CNN (@cnn) reports, those named in the lawsuit include, Roger Stone, George Papadopoulos, Paul Manafort, and others. The 66-page lawsuit filed in Manhattan Federal Court on Friday lays out how the Trumps curried favor in Russia through their family business, and then Russia allegedly worked with Trump advisers before the presidential election to disseminate the spoils from a cyberattack of the DNC.
The Democratic Party says the conspiracy and hacking hurt their relationship with voters, chilled donations, disrupted their political convention, and subjected their staffers to harassment. The lawsuit outlines nearly every known communication between Trump advisers and Russians.
The US has announced additional sanctions against seven Russian oligarchs with direct ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, along with 12 companies they own or control. The news comes as a shock to many who have witnessed Donald Trump’s love affair with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The measures announced on Friday by the Treasury Department were also aimed at 17 senior Russian government officials and the state-owned Russian weapons trading company, Rosoboronexport.
CNN (@cnn) reports, the punitive actions are the latest escalating step by the US to punish Putin’s inner circle for interfering in the 2016 US Presidential election and other ongoing aggressions across the globe in Crimea, Ukraine,and Syria.
“We cannot allow those seeking to sow confusion, discord, and rancor to be successful.” US President Donald Trump said in a statement released by the White House. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin cited Russia’s occupation in Crimea and its ongoing efforts to supply the Assad regime in Syria with materials and weapons in a statement announcing the sanctions.